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Truth and Reconciliation Commissions (TRCs): An international human rights intervention and its connection to social work.

Androff, David
June 4, 2015

Source: (2010) British Journal of Social Work. 40:1960-1977.

Over the last quarter of a century, Truth and Reconciliation Commissions (TRCs) have
grown in prevalence as a primary human rights intervention for post-conflict reconstruction.
Building upon restorative justice theory, TRCs investigate past abuses, listen to the
experiences of victims and perpetrators, and seek to repair the social fabric damaged by
violence. TRCs constitute an unrecognised opportunity for social work to contribute to
the welfare of communities recovering from violence. This paper introduces TRCs to
social workers, highlights the relevance of TRCs to social work, identifies how social
workers have engaged with TRCs in the past, sketches the history and core elements
of TRCs, and addresses how social worker can improve TRCs. Social workers can contribute
to TRCs by facilitating interviews and eliciting testimonials from victims of violence,
lending their ethical commitments of self-determination and social justice, advocating
at various levels of governmental and community groups, working in legal settings
and with courts, practising cultural competence, promoting the work of reconciliation
through dialogue and mediation, conducting social work research and emphasising
the material welfare of victims by encouraging TRCs to address structural inequalities
and include social development programs. (author’s abstract)


AbstractCourtsPost-Conflict ReconciliationPrisonsRestorative PracticesRJ and the WorkplaceRJ in SchoolsRJ OfficeTeachers and StudentsVictim Support
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